Sweden: Fogelvik, Valdemarsvik

Fågelvik Manor (Swedish: Fågelviks herrgård) is a manor house in Valdemarsvik Municipality, Sweden. Once a castle building, the remains of the first building on the site date to the 1300s.The estate is mentioned in written sources for the first time in the late 14th century. At one point it belonged to Karl Ulfsson, Lord High Constable of Sweden. In 1429 it became the property of King Charles VIII of Sweden. After his death it passed to his daughter and through her marriage to the Gyllenstierna family. It stayed in the Gyllenstierna family for almost 250 years, until in 1720 it passed by marriage to Count Arvid Horn. For three generations it stayed within the Horn family. During the 19th century, it belonged to the families Thott and Posse but was sold in 1852 to the Crown Prince, the future King Charles XV of Sweden. The prince, however, sold the estate in 1855 and we had the privilege of being invited by the lovely Manfalks who now own the properties.The manor is located on a small island in an inlet of the Baltic Sea. The medieval estate included a castle surrounded by a moat located approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) south of the present manor. The ruins of the castle, destroyed during the Dacke War in 1542, are still partially visible. The presently visible main building of the manor was built during the 18th century. Designs were made already during the 1730s by architect Carl Hårleman but construction did not commence until the 1770s. The designs were then probably somewhat altered by architect Jean Eric Rehn. The main building is a four-story building with an extension protruding from the middle of the facade towards the garden. There are two wings, built at the same time as the main building, as well as several outbuildings and annexes.

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Italy: Lake Como: 2023

Lake Como, in Northern Italy’s Lombardy region, is an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps. The lake is shaped like an upside-down Y, with three slender branches that meet at the resort town of Bellagio. Menaggio and Varenna are popular ferry stops and areas to explore. Hiring a boat is the best way to make use of a sunny day. At the bottom of the southwest branch lies the city of Como, home to Renaissance architecture and a funicular that travels up to the mountain town of Brunate.

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India: Alleppey Backwaters 2023

The 'backwaters' is the name of the enchanting palm-lined waterways that are synonymous with Kerala. A cruise immerses you in a labyrinthine network of rivers, inlets, lagoons and lakes parallel with the Arabian Sea coast. Delightfully scenic and tranquil, with abundant wildlife on display, these cruises take place in a unique landscape, with smaller vessels enabling you to visit remote areas that most tourist boats cannot. Traditional boats called kettuvallam are made by tying pieces of wood together with coir rope, made from coconut fibres.

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Botswana 2022/23: Pangolin Hotel Chobe

Pangolin Hotel pride themselves on offering the most unique and exclusive wildlife experiences in the Chobe National Park. They have specially designed boats and vehicles operated by some of the best guides in the region. Every drive and cruise is hosted by a field guide and a photographic host to help you get amazing photographs. No camera? No problem. Free camera rental is included during your stay. The Chobe National Park is arguably one of the best year round game viewing and wildlife photography destinations in Southern Africa. The park boundary is a mere 200m from the hotel affording us quick and easy access on for game drives and signature river cruises. Don't hesitate - just book with them!

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Botswana 2022/23: Maun – Island Safari Lodge & Mokoro Trip

Maun is a town on the Thamalakane River in northern Botswana. It's the jumping-off point for the vast inland Okavango Delta, which becomes a lush wildlife habitat during the seasonal floods. In the delta, safari camps dot the Moremi Game Reserve, which is home to hippos, lions and rhinos. Island Safari Lodge is located on the banks of the River, and is a cool and welcoming oasis in the heart of Maun. Shaded under a huge canopy of large trees, the lodge overlooks the river and floodplain beyond. From here you can explore the famed Okavango Delta by mokoro, a traditional dugout canoe. Glide past the islands that dot the delta and the surrounding channels for a unique experience that sets you amongst nature.

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